If Iowa is known for anything, it's the Midwestern state's outsize role in the national political debate. Sitting right in the center of the country—geographically and in terms of size and population—Iowa is home to the earliest caucuses on the presidential election calendar, making it a bellwether of what's to come in the national political conversation. And that's why NYC's newly reelected Mayor Bill de Blasio's trip this week to the Hawkeye State—his third in just two years—is raising eyebrows.
Bill de Blasio works the crowd in Des Moines, which if you think about it is really New York’s sixth borough. pic.twitter.com/Ps5zWpzmVp— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 20, 2017
De Blasio traveled to Des Moines this week to speak to Progress Iowa, part of a plan to push party toward the left ahead of the next election cycle. While in town, Hizzoner touted the success of progressive programs like his universal pre-K plan while fervently denying he was laying the groundwork for a presidential run.
Despite criticism from local unions including the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which sent officers in protest, de Blasio seems sure he can take on even more. In fact, to demonstrate he can take on a larger leadership role in the party on a national level, while running the nation's biggest—and dare we say, best—city for the next four years, de Blasio made a dramatic show of chewing gum and walking at the same time. Proving once again that if you can make it here, you can make it just about anywhere.